Rockwood Blvd. Residence: “Before”

This is one of those projects where after construction is complete, you can’t really imagine the space looking any other way. The designs fall into place so well that it looks like it has always been that way…meant to be. This was such an important goal for me on this project, because I was redesigning a home that already had a beautiful design concept, it just needed some updates. This home was built in 1983 and originally designed by local architect Jon Sayler. As an interior designer, I know how special each project is to the designers and architects who develop them. To respect the original design and aesthetic was so essential, and I do feel this newly renovated space fits right in.

At our open house, many people made this exact statement. In fact, people were so curious what the space had looked like before because the new design felt so seamless with the home. What a compliment! So let’s do a little reminiscing and look back at where we started at the beginning of summer.

You better believe I’m going to take you right to the view I had when I first walked into this home. Spacious, filled with light, and perched on stilts to give you a view of the trees (this home was even nicknamed “the treehouse” by neighbors)!


When I was first called to the site, the homeowner had already torn out the floors. He had tried dozens of options ranging from cork to engineered woods, and just wasn’t feeling confident about any of them. He also wanted to update the original kitchen by painting the cabinets, replacing counters, and updating appliances. This is where I had to immediately say, HOLD ON. This needs to be reconsidered! Our client knew he would be putting the home up for sale. However, a quick flip on this kitchen wouldn’t get much of a return on his investment. The next person moving into this space would not be able to love this home with the very small size of the kitchen and closed off layout. So plans changed for the better (and I can’t wait to show you what happened!).


The major red flag to me was not only the size of the kitchen, but the way it was separated from the rest of this AMAZING space. This home had beautiful bones, gorgeous wood accents, and an open concept that needed to include the kitchen. Besides, most people find that to be a very important feature of a home’s kitchen! So, needless to say, that wall had to go. By removing the wall, the kitchen would now be open to the sitting room, fireplace, and dining room.


Ok, so let’s take a look back at that fireplace, shall we? Here was the perfect opportunity for a focal point in the home. Even though this space was currently divided into three rooms by the kitchen wall, this fireplace was still visible from the dining room and sitting room. It needed some anchoring though, because it currently felt lost and unimportant. It would get some attention soon enough though.


The next area that would need some design ideas is the stairway. This home has a rounded shape on a small part of the exterior, which is one of the many reasons why neighbors were always curious about the interior. It’s for the stairs! It had a partial rail on the entry platform, but no railing going down the stairs. We wanted to update these few handrails with a style that was similar to the exterior railings. They play a prominent role on the outside of the home, with its multiple balconies and catwalks (again, this home is on stilts!!). An interior-exterior flow was important because of the large windows and views.


The last space of focus was the master bathroom. While small in size, there were probably ways to improve the layout. But budget really wasn’t allowing for a demo of the whole master suite, so we kept to a simple refresh. It definitely was in need of some new flooring, tile, counters, and fixtures.

This home is now complete and almost in the hands of its new owner. What an incredible transformation it has gone through! Follow along with the progress photos and the final reveal!

Burroughs Road Remodel: Project Reveal

Okay before we get too excited because I LOVE project reveals, I’m going to preface by saying I didn’t get official photographs for this project. There are some projects that this doesn’t happen with, and it’s usually because the home doesn’t have furniture ready and/or the homeowners are involved in construction so they are still working on things after I’m done. In this project, both situations applied! So I tried to stay out of the way and let them finish up their projects. However, I did manage to take some snapshots at our final meeting. If you haven’t seen them already, take a look at what this home looked like in the beginning. Here are the “before” pictures of this space and see the transition it went through in just a few months!


So, first off, I’m kind of obsessed with the appliance selections of this home. They were Jenn-Air and I have to say, this is one of those things that added such a feel of luxury to the space that I can’t imagine how it would have felt putting in the original black ones back into a new kitchen. The beverage refrigerator (similar one linked) was also a highlight, because what a perfect little focal point while also conveniently located and accessible during gatherings! We also went with a counter-depth refrigerator to save every inch we could on the walk space, because it was getting pretty tight trying to fit in the island seating right behind the large pantry cabinets. (The refrigerator got delivered later that day, I JUST missed it!)


Those pantry cabinets though! So nice! They may have been a total pain in the butt during the construction process due to the company not having the size we originally planned for, but sometimes things happen for a reason and this was a happy result of that. I love that they are the same depth as the rest of the wall cabinets along the right side, and they add so much storage to the kitchen, I don’t even know what I would do with that much space. Costco, anyone? These clients live in the country though so I can imagine it’s nice to stock up on things.


Ok, how about the dream faucet and sink? If you know anything about faucets, you know that Rohl is top of the line, and I love the sleek lines of this one. Paired with one of my favorite Kohler cast iron sink, it’s a match made in heaven! If you read the last progress post, did you get a chance to guess the backsplash of the kitchen? Well, it wasn’t a trick question, but just a simple answer! For this traditional farmhouse kitchen, we went with standard subway tile to coordinate with the counters. Classic and easy to clean was the rule of thumb for this space, and I definitely think that was achieved here.


One of the last things that happen during a renovation is paint, which is shocking to the vast majority of my clients. For very logical reasons…”wouldn’t it be easier to paint when the space is empty?” Well, probably. But I like to think of paint as the cherry on top and the most flexible “topping” of the home. I start by selecting finishes that have less options to pick from…cabinets and flooring, counters, tile, then paint. Because there are a gazillion paint colors, it’s always easy to find one that works. It also offers an opportunity to see the finishes installed and adjust color tones as needed. So, it’s not out of the norm to paint last, and a quality painter should do a good job at protecting the finishes. I love how the creamy paint color selected for the main level changed the appearance all at once. Magic!


Last but not least, because it’s one of my favorite parts of this remodel, is the new fireplace build-out up to the ceiling with cabinets and custom wine storage on either side. The shiplap was the perfect simple material for such a large feature, but the fireplace anchors the space that will now function as their formal dining room. Such a beautiful spot for gathering and entertaining!

What do you think…are you a classic farmhouse or traditional style type? Or more of a modern aesthetic? If you’re not sure, head over to my website and take the FREE style quiz to find out!

Make sure to check out the before images here as well as the progress…it’s always fun to see that transformation! As always, if you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!


Burroughs Road Remodel: Progress Update

I have a few phases of construction that are my total favorite…besides, of course, the final reveal. One of my favorites is when the demolition is complete and you see the home in it’s raw, empty space. It’s like a fresh slate and you can really start to visualize the plans you created, because the old stuff is gone. But my other favorite phase is when new cabinets start getting set in a kitchen design. The entire kitchen will just change before your eyes. Here’s an example from the progression at Burroughs Road…


You may have noticed that we moved the refrigerator from the right side of the kitchen to the left (go back and look at the “before” pictures!). This was a simple switch but made so much sense. Because the original cabinets on the right side of the kitchen were only 12″ deep, it caused the refrigerator to stick out and block the view of the whole kitchen. Switching it up opened the space substantially! The rest of the kitchen kept with the same layout as the original kitchen, but we did expand the island. At one point we considered opening the wall between the kitchen and dining room. However, it would cause us to lose storage and create some dead zones of the home. And believe it or not, there is a balance of open and TOO open.

the fireplace transformation

Take a look at how we built out the fireplace to enhance the ceiling height and frame the room. If you don’t remember what it originally looked like, go check out the “before” pictures of the whole home. It’s not done yet, though! Wine racks for storage were an important piece on the client’s wish list. We tucked them in along with some beautiful wood floating shelves and a rustic wood mantel. Stay tuned for the final reveal on those…


In the photo above, you can get a small glimpse of the flooring installed. We went with a laminate floor in a dark chocolate brown. It was some of the most realistic laminate I’ve seen! It had great rustic patches that will help hide dirt while also adding character to the clean white space. One of my favorite tricks is doing a darker floor with lighter walls because it makes a space feel bigger! Here’s another picture of the flooring…


Let’s get back to the kitchen! Quartz countertops (shown installed above) are pretty much my favorite, but I usually stick to simple patterns and colors. This client wanted to shake things up a bit though by finding something with more pattern and color variation. We found something with a creamy undertone that had patches and speckles of brown and white. It definitely helped us reach that traditional aesthetic that the clients also liked!

Can you guess the backsplash we selected? Head on over to the final reveal to see if you’re right!

Burroughs Road Remodel: “Before”

One of my favorite things to do as I wrap up a project is to go back and look at where we started. When you are going through a renovation, often for months, it’s easy to forget what was once there in the first place. These clients had been living in the home for 20 years! They actually had the home built for them and helped select the original finishes. I’m sure it would still be a shock for them to look at the difference of their new kitchen in comparison to the old…I love having a record of the progression!

This kitchen was twenty-years old with builders-grade style finishes and fixtures. While the clients initially struggled to define their style, we did some digging by having them take the style quiz as well as the in-depth style assessment offered with our design services. The results pointed us in the very prominent direction of a traditional style with farmhouse touches. This was perfect considering the home was located on some dreamy acreage north of town.


What started as a plan to refinish the cabinets, we did quote comparisons of refinishing the cabinets versus ordering new. Sure enough, like others who have gone through this process, we decided it was a small upgrade to going with new cabinets. This was good for many reasons…1) the style of the cabinet doors was outdated. 2) there were many gaps and fillers or homemade components to their existing cabinets. 3) it was only a matter of time before the age of these cabinets started to show and break down. So, cabinets got torn out for reuse somewhere else.


The original counters were laminate, which definitely needed to be upgraded. The plumbing and lighting fixtures were old, worn, and outdated as well. For budget reasons, we kept the existing fluorescent lighting. However, a little cleaning and replacing of bulbs helped freshen them up. Part of the way through planning, the clients decided to get new appliances, too!

The flooring throughout the first level also needed to be replaced. It was Pergo flooring and had started to pop and gap in areas. Later, in the lower living room, we noticed a large sink hole in the corner by the stairs. This gave us all a big scare, but was fixed with a bit of concrete and leveling. Instead of putting the old carpet back down, we decided to use the same flooring we selected for the kitchen.This, in addition to painting the whole level the same color, really helped the home feel cohesive.


The layout of this home is incredibly common for spec homes in our area. But the homeowners didn’t need two living rooms! What they really needed was a dining room that could fit more than four people. We decided to take over the formal living room and turn it into a dining room. The client had a beautiful extra long and live-edge table that was made by her dad using exotic wood. It would fit in the space perfectly and allow them to entertain and host gatherings during the holidays. This space also had a fireplace, although it was small in scale for the size of the room. It needed some finish updates as well, which was the perfect opportunity to enhance the whole space.

Overall, this first floor of the home expanded into a bigger project than we initially planned. But every decision ended up making sense! Homes with these large, open floor plans are hard to “cut off” when renovating. This is because some materials continue to the next room (wall colors, flooring, trim, etc.). However, take a peek at the progress photos for how we achieved a cohesive feel in the wide open space!

Golden Road Residence: Project Reveal

It’s complete! Are you ready to see the before and after? It’s funny how once you’ve been around the “after” results for long enough, you forget how dramatic the change was. It’s always fun to look back at the original photos of a home. Here’s a quick look at them below.

the outdated “before”

Oak cabinets, oak floors, fluorescent lights, and an awkward entry point in the back corner that directed you right into another wall. This same doorway was the focal point of the front entry, and it wasn’t a pretty sight line to have. We decided to close that off and rearrange a few of the main appliances to get better focal points in both spaces. It makes a huge difference! The photos below show essentially the same views as the “before” photos, just a little closer up:

cozy & custom

When I think about this project, I think of a warm home filled with real and authentic finishes. These are materials like reclaimed barn wood floors, blue pine ceiling planks, large river rock, and neutral, earthy color tones. I love how the appliances are tucked away and don’t appear flashy or distract from the coziness of the space. The “flashiest” parts you will find are in the smallest of details! For instance, heavy iron cabinet hardware, a custom metal backsplash, or the custom wood beam light fixture. We teamed with Dare Designs for many custom pieces, but you can find a similar beam chandelier here. Each small part works together to create a whole space that is a stunner in the most welcoming way.

redefining home for a new family dynamic

The kitchen wasn’t the only space renovated in the home. Nearly every room in this house was transformed in major or minor ways. This was a couple who was ready to reclaim their space after their children had all moved out of the home. Empty spaces were being assigned new functions, and finishes were selected to better reflect their style. The couple had to decide between moving to a new home or renovating the one they had lived in for so long and raised their kids in. I’m so happy they chose to stay, because we were able to incorporate sentimental parts of their family life into the design, such as the wall where they documented their kids’ growth, and later, all of their kid’s friends as well!

The river rock and metal tree in the photo above frame the mass quantities of written growth markers from the family and their friends. Much of the custom wood and metal work in the home, including the stair railing and handrails were completed by the talented duo at Dare Designs.

unique amenities

There were very unique spaces in this home that were great “first-time” experiences for me. The first one was a hidden man cave. This space was outfitted with fireproof walls, a cigar ventilation system, custom gun storage and an antique reloading bench. It also had really cool doors, including a locking safe door as well as a salvaged ship door leading to additional storage. The second space was an outdoor kitchen, which was so perfect for this couple who loved to entertain. They had already invested in landscaping for their backyard. Adding an upper area for entertaining, grilling, and lounging was a fun investment as well. The covered area under the deck had a large fireplace and TV area, and a U-shaped kitchen with a great setup for barbeques and parties.

I’m so happy for this family’s home to be complete for them to use and enjoy each space! This project offered so many unique opportunities for design. The clients’ and all trades involved played an important role in bringing such interest and craftsmanship to the home. It’s always an enjoyable process to watch it all take shape! If you’d like to see where it all started, check out the post Golden Road Residence: Demolition.

If you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!


Golden Road Residence: Progress Update

There are so many areas of this home to cover! Many are still a work in progress. So I decided to share the other spaces that are moving right along. These include the laundry room, office, and man cave.


The laundry room was a fun farmhouse space that needed to provide serious storage and functionality into a small space. With some creative space planning and custom cabinetry, we were able to fit in all the amenities the clients wanted. This included two dog kennels (in each corner), a dog-washing station, a built-in desk, and cleaning supply closet.


The home office was primarily for the husband, who wanted that rustic cozy style carried into the space. We looked at unique finishes for the cabinets and even cooler pieces such as a desk top made of bullet-proof glass. Ah, the progress pictures are just so dark, unfortunately! Since this space is not included in the final project reveal (lighting was nearly impossible), I will share a few images of it here!


This next part of the project, the “man cave,” is one that is so unique and I was thrilled to do the designs. The client had an opportunity of several small unused storage spaces in their home that we reworked to make one large man cave/hidden gun room. The drywall is up and locking safe doors are installed, including a unique ship-door which leads to a fire-safe space under the stairs. It will provide storage for important documents and family memory keepsakes. We continued to utilize Dare Designs for fabrication of the pieces in this space. This included custom cabinets, gun racks, and a metal focal wall.


And finally! As the interior wraps up, the outdoor spaces begin claiming our focus. Summer is around the corner, so the outdoor kitchen and sitting area have started construction. The kitchen will include a sink, grill, under counter refrigerator, and bar seating. The sitting area will have a large fireplace and TV, perfect for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. Large stone work matching the interior spaces will bring some cohesiveness to the interior and exterior spaces, which is always important!

I came by what seemed like a few days later and look how cute and inviting this outdoor oasis has become! This is a family who loves to entertain and will open their entire backyard up for play and gatherings. What an awesome design for them to really be able to utilize the space they have and offer their guests the best!

Check out the final reveal of the entire home right here…Golden Road Residence: Project Reveal!

Golden Road Residence: Finishes

Today I’m sharing a progress update for the Golden Road Residence because finishes are almost all in! The kitchen cabinets are installed and it has become a domino effect of progress for the space. The house has made leaps and bounds within the month! Unfortunately, the current lighting situation doesn’t do this space justice, but pictures were needed regardless!


Let’s start with the beautiful wood floors! First, reclaimed barn wood flooring was installed to replace the original hardwood in the home. It provided the client with the rustic look they had dreamed of. She mentioned seeing bird poop and other “authentic things” on the planks before they were sanded down. The flooring was sanded, holes filled, and had multiple coats of stain to darken it.


Next, the new stair railing was installed! It was a custom design using reclaimed railroad ties and thick rebar. This was all built and designed by a talented woodworking and metal duo called Dare Designs. Behind the staircase, we decided to add a focal wall of blue pine (“beetlekill”) that would match the kitchen. However, we had to get a little creative because the clients had measurements of their kids on the edge of the wall. So that was incredibly important to preserve! In the end, the clients decided on a curved edge as well as a custom metal railing to look like a tree! The pictures don’t show it with the “trunk” just yet. I loved working with someone with such unique and artistic taste! And shout out to the fabricators that did anything we dreamed of!


Okay…let’s talk about these kitchen cabinets. Custom to the MAX! The armoire-like piece shown below is a custom pantry cabinet design. This piece is huge and every bit of it is amazing. The island has end drawers with glass fronts. Inside the drawers, a panel sits a few inches back, creating a display nook. The finish of the cabinets was custom as well, selected with a specific wood species, distressing and worm holes, custom color, and glaze finish. This was an incredible process to watch, from the samples we received to the end result!


From this point, we ended up changing a few things. The wood shelf below the apron sink was too “polished” for the space, so it was switched out with a more rustic piece. In addition, the island butcher block was also custom, but ended up too dark for such a large piece. It was changed for a lighter one with more grain showing. It blows me away how much wood and texture is in the space, but yet it all works together. Overall, the space definitely has that rustic charm, but not too busy. A few things that helped with this was using a very simple dark gray quartz counters from Caesarstone and a dark tile backsplash. The balance of light and dark as well as textured and non-textured finish selections is hard to strike, but I think it was done well in this kitchen after all!


Finally, the build-out for the range was framed out, stone was placed, and the custom metal backsplash was finished. On the inside of each stone column, we had room to do metal built-in shelves (difficult to see in the photo, but so cool)! Last, the custom light design came to fruition! This has been our most requested piece on other projects when clients have fallen in love with this light and want something similar in their home.

There are a few other spaces in the home coming together as well, including the office, laundry room, man cave, and outdoor kitchen. Jump over to this post to see what the rest of this beautiful home looks like…Golden Road Residence: Progress Update.